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Today, the Fourth District Court of Appeal for Florida in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Tan, Case No. 4D20-613, held that Fla. Stat. 702.036 barred the Court from granting relief as it related to a Senior Mortgagee seeking to vacate a judgment that was entered against them by a Junior Mortgagee. For a little more background on this holding, “a non-party purchased the real property at issue and executed a mortgage in favor of Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corporation. Bear Stearns assigned the mortgage to Wells Fargo. The non-party later sold the property to Chi Peng Tan, who executed a mortgage in favor of First Magnus Financial Corporation.
First Magnus filed a foreclosure complaint against multiple defendants, including Tan and Wells Fargo. A judgment was entered that foreclosed all interests, including the interest held by Wells Fargo. The record shows that Wells Fargo recorded its mortgage before First Magnus recorded its mortgage.”
This is case is not yet final.
Senate Bill 13 was signed into law on March, 16, 2021, and effectively shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. While R.C. 2305.06 originally set forth a lengthy 15-year statute of limitations on enforcement of a contract, the statute was amended in 2012 to reduce the limitation to eight years. The 2021 amendment to Revised Code 2305.07 now further reduces the statute of limitations for breaches of written contracts from eight years to six and reduces the statute of limitations for breaches of oral contracts from six years to four years.
The new law goes into effect on June 16, 2021.
The statute of limitations in Ohio on legal malpractice claims is one year from the time the aggrieved party knew, or should have known, that the attorney committed malpractice, or from the time the attorney stopped representing the aggrieved party on that particular legal matter, whichever is later. O.R.C. 2305.11. However, Senate Bill 13 was recently passed in Ohio, and currently awaits the Governor’s signature. The Bill adds section 2305.117 to the Ohio Revised Code, and while the new section does not replace or negate 2305.11, it seeks to add a statute of repose, requiring all legal malpractice claims to be filed within 4 years, regardless of then the malpractice was actually discovered. Once signed into law, while the one year statute still applies, this will supplement the current rule in place.
Skyworks, Ltd. v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, No. 5:20-CV-2407, 2021 WL 911720 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 10, 2021) is a case of first impression for Ohio. While the Eastern District of Texas in Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 6:20-CV-00564, 2021 WL 742877 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 25, 2021), found that the CDC Order to be unconstitutional, Skyworks holds that the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's orders—Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 85 Fed. Reg. 55,292 (Sept. 4, 2020) and Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 86 Fed. Reg. 8020 (Feb. 3, 2021)—exceed the agency's statutory authority provided in Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), and the regulation at 42 C.F.R. § 70.2 promulgated pursuant to the statute, and are, therefore, invalid.” The Ohio case focuses on statutory authority, while the Texas case focuses on constitutionality.
In 2015, the execution requirements for deeds and other documents affecting title to real property changed. Previously, deeds and these types of title documents could be executed with two witnesses and an acknowledgment by the notary. However, the new law requires two “attesting” witnesses. One of these witnesses must be an “official” witness, which is almost always the notary. The key change is the “attestation” requirement and what this means in practical use.
By its own language, a notary acknowledgment states that the person executing the document only acknowledged to the notary that they signed the document. The usual notary acknowledgment language does not state that the notary actually saw the signor execute the document in their presence. The requirement in Georgia is that the notary must attest, or in plain terms, actually witness the signing of the document for it to be valid and recordable.
FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until June 30, 2021. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by an Enterprise through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. The current moratoriums were set to expire on March 31, 2021.
FHFA also announced that borrowers with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may be eligible for an additional three-month extension of COVID-19 forbearance. This additional three-month extension allows borrowers to be in forbearance for up to 18 months. Eligibility for the extension is limited to borrowers who are in a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, and other limits may apply. Further, COVID-19 Payment Deferral for borrowers with an Enterprise-backed mortgage can now cover up to 18 months of missed payments. COVID-19 Payment Deferral allows borrowers to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at mortgage maturity.
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